Podcast Interview with Elizabeth Batalla,
Founder and Executive Director of
The Institute for Achievement and Excellence.
Elizabeth’s mission is to help women be unstoppable in their professional and personal life.
It was such a pleasure interviewing Elizabeth last week. I’m absolutely delighted to have Liz as our very first guest on the Fempreneurs Unite podcast because she is such an active member of our LinkedIn Group.
AND Elizabeth is offering an amazing free giveaway to one lucky member of Fempreneurs Unite.
Listen to the podcast, watch the video or read the transcript below to find out what Liz is giving away and how you might benefit.
Meet Elizabeth Batalla of The Institute for Achievement and Excellence
Podcast created on Anchor FM
Also available on
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- Radio Public
[00:00:00] Hello everyone. It’s Lauren Kinghorn from Fempreneurs Unite and we are interviewing the amazing Elizabeth Batalla. Elizabeth is the Executive Director of the Institute for Achievement and Excellence. Elizabeth, tell us more about what you do.
[00:00:22] Wow. That’s a big question. Thank you for that lovely introduction first of all, Lauren, and it’s great to be here chatting with you today, In terms of what I do. At the Institute for Achievement and Excellence, quite a bit of everything really, from the day-to-day runnings of the Institute, to looking at all of the strategic plans that we would like to put in place to helping with the creation of the content and reaching out to those out there who we believe, will receive value from it, it’s many hats, many hats.
[00:00:57] As always, with all entrepreneurs, we seem to wear [00:01:00] all the hats at the beginning. Don’t we? Are you a solopreneur at this stage? Or do you have a team already?
We do have a team. I have a team, but it’s sort of more project-based, so it depends on what I am working on at that moment. I would use different either consultants or, people working remotely to get that particular job done at that particular time. So it’s, it’s quite flexible, but yes.
[00:01:26] Oh, that’s wonderful. Okay. So you’ve got some freelances that you reach out to who are working with you. That’s brilliant. It’s so good to start pulling in that team and having everybody’s expertise, isn’t it in your business. It’s wonderful.
[00:01:41] So talk to me a bit about how and why you became an entrepreneur because I know you’ve been in business for a long time. So, what made you decide to become an entrepreneur?
[00:01:53] 30 years, so quite a long time, in that timeframe, I’ve done many things, but [00:02:00] fundamentally my role revolved around corporate education. So I worked in banking, in oil and gas, in IT, in Quality Assurance.
And during that period of time, I’ve mentored many, I’ve helped many, I’ve educated many. And with great success, people have always asked, you know, what do you do to be successful, Elizabeth?
Can you teach us, can you show us? Whether that be on a professional basis or personal basis, people kept coming to me and they kept coming with the same questions, the same concerns, the same worries, the same issues over and over again, that fell into particular what I call life areas.
[00:02:41] And I felt that I wanted to do something that I was doing part-time in my role, it was one aspect of my role, I felt that I wanted to now devote myself to doing it full time. And that’s what prompted me to move into the entrepreneurial space [00:03:00].
[00:03:00] And I think in our earlier chat, you also mentioned that COVID had something to do with it, that going into quarantine…
[00:03:07] Absolutely. I believe COVID was a shift for many people and it made me reprioritize my life, and I felt I loved my job, I loved what I did, it did fuel me, it helped me to become the person I am today, but I felt that I wanted to do more. I wanted to do more -full-time. I wanted to give back more. I wanted to help women be unstoppable. I wanted to communicate and share what I had learned and what I had delivered over that period of 30 years.
[00:03:43] So while in quarantine, I felt, if I don’t do this now, I probably never will. So I took a leap of faith and here I am today.
[00:03:56] Oh, fantastic. I love that idea of helping women be [00:04:00] unstoppable. That’s amazing.
[00:04:01] I started doing your course and I absolutely love it, it’s amazing. My favourite part because I’m what I’m working at right now is the Ikigai.
So I’ve heard it called your zone of genius before and I have heard it called Ikiagai before – are they the same thing? When you talk about your zone of genius and Ikigai, is that pretty much the same thing?
[00:04:20]I would say it’s something different because your zone of genius, is probably just strength. It could be one of many strengths that you have, and you may or may not decide to share that with the world. You may or may not decide to use that, to earn an income. You may or may not decide that even though it’s your zone of genius, it’s not something you necessarily want to share. It’s something personal or private to you. You’re quite happy to keep it as a hobby and just enjoy it for yourself.
[00:04:51] With Ikigai. It’s a much broader concept. So if I need to explain to those who are not familiar with what Ikigai is, it’s a Japanese [00:05:00] concept that speaks about the reason you get up in the morning.
[00:05:03] It’s your reason for being it’s your reason for living. And it is normally explained using a Venn diagram of four circles.
[00:05:14] So one circle is your passion. What do you love to do?
[00:05:19] Another circle is your vocation. What are you good at?
[00:05:24] Another circle, your profession. In other words, what can you be paid for?
[00:05:29] And then the final one is your mission. What does the world need? And when those four circles come together, the intersection of all those four circles is your Ikigai.
[00:05:39] So your Ikigai is that part of you where you fulfil your passion, your vocation, your profession, and your mission. You benefit, people around you benefit, the world benefits, and that’s your Ikigai.
[00:05:54]Yeah, absolutely. And that is only one aspect of [00:06:00] what it means to be successful because it’s a massive part of it, but it’s one aspect of it.
[00:06:05] And for me, I felt that my Ikigai revolved around educating, revolved around communicating, revolved around motivating, uplifting and that has been the ethos of my life throughout my entire career and into this phase of entrepreneurship that I’ve found myself in.
[00:06:26] And tell me, do you miss having a team that you could motivate and uplift? I mean, is it the same when you’re doing online courses and you don’t necessarily always know your participants. Do you miss that interaction that you would have in front of the team or your colleagues or whoever it is that you were motivating and uplifting in the past?
[00:06:48] Oh not at all, because first of all, many of the students that have gone through the programs, reach out to me. I’m not unreachable it’s either by email or whatever the case [00:07:00] may be. So I do have touchpoints with students. And there are so many people that come in and out of my life and the engagement is always there.
[00:07:08] Even speaking to people like you who have been through or going through the program and we’re discussing it, I always find like I have extra little nuggets to give. So there is always that touchpoint of me being there and giving and motivating and helping and directing. So it’s part of what I do now.
[00:07:24] Oh, that’s amazing. Oh that’s so good because that’s always been, one of the things I’ve been concerned about , if you go online, will you still have that deep, meaningful contact?
[00:07:35] And it’s so nice to hear that even when you produce something that is online and accessing, potentially millions around the world, you can still have those touchpoints, as you say, with real live individuals who have taken your course.
[00:07:51] Absolutely, it may not be as frequent as in a corporation where I have a team that I must meet [00:08:00] every day or engage with every day.
[00:08:01] There are times, yes, it can be lonely because I am also involved in the content creation of it. And there are times when I do have to lock myself away to get things done, but it’s a nice balance.
[00:08:12] But even in the corporate world, there are those times where you are also just preparing and creating presentations, it’s not all with people. And this is the new world we live in, isn’t it?.
[00:08:23] And are you also planning to start adding the dimension of doing one-on-one coaching with people as well? I know you’re also an executive coach.
[00:08:33]I have moved away from one-to-one coaching and I do now group coaching.
[00:08:38] This is one of the big reasons for the program that I’ve created because I felt it was not the best use of my time. And it wasn’t the best use of, the student’s time. Many of the fundamentals that you can find in the program. These are things that they can learn quite easily if delivered [00:09:00] properly and delivered well, it’s something that they can do on their own.
[00:09:02] I prefer when I work with people to work in groups where there’s that collaboration, everyone starts with a good foundation. They have the foundation in place where we can all move forward and I no longer have to spend time discussing what I would deem the basics.
[00:09:21] So they would have to go through the program first because it covers a lot of concerns.
[00:09:26] It will help set them up for success in a way, that by the time we are working together, they are miles ahead. And I can now move them closer and faster in the direction of the goals that they would like to achieve. Because they have that foundation set strongly.
[00:09:45] Okay. Wonderful.
[00:09:46]Elizabeth, what did you find most challenging when you were in the corporate world?
[00:09:53] I found there were many challenges, to begin with, the one that I found most challenging was [00:10:00] successfully navigating the corporate space as a female in a male-dominated environment. Because earlier as I mentioned, I worked in Banking. I started my career in Banking. Then I moved to Oil and Gas, then from there, IT, and then from there Quality Assurance.
[00:10:19] So to give an example, while I was an IT trainer, I was in my late twenties, early to late twenties. And at that time in that space, female trainers were training the Microsoft office, suite, the desktop, the PowerPoint, Word, Excel.
[00:10:39] Now there is nothing wrong with that, but I chose to train things like Cisco routers and setting up silver configurations, so quite intricate stuff. And one of the training programs I was putting on a gentleman walked in, saw that I was the trainer walked out and [00:11:00] asked for his payment to be refunded because he was not prepared to be taught by a woman.
[00:11:06] Wow. That was just one of, quite a few incidents. Now I don’t see that. I’m not saying this to get women angry or anyone to become defensive in any way, shape or form. What I am trying to communicate is that these things exist. I have experienced these things. There is a way to navigate it and you do the best you can with what you have at the time, which is what I did.
[00:11:34] And that is one of the reasons that prompted me to create this whole Institute because anyone can benefit from what is created. However, it is geared towards helping women to be unstoppable. And it’s from my experiences. that I believe very, very strongly in that.
[00:11:56] Wonderful. Oh, that’s an amazing story.
[00:11:59] How did you deal [00:12:00] with that? I mean, you must’ve felt very disappointed and disheartened at that moment. How did you deal with it emotionally? And then carry on doing the training for the rest of the people.
[00:12:11]I always see things, try to see things from another person’s perspective. And as long as I know to myself, I haven’t done anything morally wrong or anything to offend someone, I always try to look at the other person’s point of view. Perhaps he is from a culture where that’s not accepted, and that is what he was taught. Because of one person’s opinion, it does not justify who I am, it will not define who I am.
I’ve always been that way inclined where I know my worth, I know what I can give.
I have worked very hard and I felt okay, you may not want to benefit from what I can give, but there was a class of 15 others waiting for me who can and would and did benefit from what I had to offer. [00:13:00] So I try to always look at the big picture. In any walk of life, in anything you do, whether it’s your professional or personal life, there will be people who will not appreciate what you have to offer.
[00:13:13] That is just something you have to swallow and move on because there may be one person who does it. One, what you have to offer, but there are probably 15, 20, 25 people who would love what you have to offer. And those are the ones that you need to focus on. And that’s what kept me going. The ones who wanted my knowledge, the ones who were hungry to learn.
[00:13:35] Yes. Wonderful. And so who are you finding? So are you finding that with your course, the Institute for Achievement and Excellence, are you finding that it’s landing with exactly the right people? Who have been your best participants or your most eager participants in the program?
[00:13:52] Have they been kind of your target market or have you been surprised sometimes that they weren’t who you thought would would go for [00:14:00] it?
[00:14:01]The target market tended to be, it’s quite broad because the whole ethos of the Institute for Achievement and Excellence was founded on a framework called the achieving excellence framework.
[00:14:15] And the reason for this framework is that for you to achieve a woman, to achieve for anyone to achieve a particular level of success, a particular level of respect, a particular level of wanting to feel valued, with that, if you bring excellence into everything that you do, that happens seamlessly, that happens naturally you become to be known for someone who provides or who gives of his or her best in everything. That happens seamlessly and hence the reason for the framework of the three forces and in achieving excellence, one needs to look at achieving excellence in their personal life, which is the identity part of things, [00:15:00] the connections that they have with people and then their status. So that the three areas now within those three areas, there are other what we call life areas.
[00:15:09] So in total, there are nine life areas where it makes sense to create that balance, to create that level of engagement, to create that space where you give of your best. Yep. This is what the program is all about. It’s helping women, helping those women achieve that balance and that level of success and excellence across those areas.
[00:15:38] Now, in terms of the demographic, I have people from the age of 25 all the way up to the age of 50. Because they look at it and it is communicated as if you want to level up and you want to level up fast and you want all the tools, all the techniques, what the best in the field use. And you want it in a structured, concise, [00:16:00] precise way, this is the program for you. So that is how things evolved.
[00:16:06] Wonderful. Wonderful.
[00:16:08]So what are your hopes and plans for the rest of the year? You’ve created something amazing. It’s going really well. I see you’ve had some amazing testimonials from people. What’s next for Elizabeth Batalla?
[00:16:21] Wow. That’s exciting. For me right now, because the Institute is still pretty much young, it’s only been on the market since 2020 is when I decided I’m going to create this. And, I’ve only really been making the programs available at the start of this year. So it’s quite in its early stages. For me the rest of the year is just really about getting the word out there, helping people realize, look, there is a formula for success. There is a way that you can level up if that’s what you want in your life right now, if you’re feeling stuck, if you feel that, you know, I need to do something. I’m not quite sure [00:17:00] what that is, I don’t know how to go about it. I know that I need to do something to change my life because it’s not going in the direction I want to go.
[00:17:08] There’s just so much I need to do, so much I need to accomplish, I have no idea where to start.
[00:17:14] This is the mother of all roadmaps that will get you from where you are to where you want to go and provide a good step-by-step process to help you through all of that journey that you want to achieve.
[00:17:30]Yeah, it really is, it’s, as I said, 30 years of experience, helping people, mentoring people, applying things to my own life, knowing what works, discarding the ones that, that don’t. Basing it entirely on a framework that I know works, that has been proven to work and just making it available.
[00:17:51] So really it’s just to spread the word, to let people know this is available and yeah, consider incorporating it into your life.
[00:18:00] [00:17:59] Wonderful. Aah, that sounds amazing. And what has been really challenging for you on this journey? Because we’ve spoken about what was challenging for you in the corporate world, but as an entrepreneur, did you hit any roadblocks that you’ve had to overcome yourself and did the framework help you with that too?
[00:18:18]Very good question. Very good question. Roadblocks – every single day as an entrepreneur… you wake and you just don’t know what the day is going to bring. Rarely does it ever go the way you plan to go, what can go wrong sometimes does and everything else.
[00:18:38] I think for me, what I have been tested most is if I can put it into one word, probably resilience. Getting knocked down and bouncing back. And even though that is something I have done consistently in my career, as an entrepreneur, it’s different, you’re completely and 100% responsible [00:19:00] for many things, that in a corporate world you’re not necessarily responsible for.
[00:19:04] So it is quite a change in perspective. It’s quite a change in the way sometimes my day has to go. It’s not as structured, there are many things that will require my attention. So it is a challenge, but I continue to enjoy the journey.
[00:19:22] Oh, that’s amazing. And also another question, how have you managed to sustain yourself over this time? Because when you creating this amazing content, I know you’ve created a huge bank of knowledge and put it all into video format and it’s very, very well set out, as you said, it’s very precise and step-by-step, and you’ve created modules so that people can purchase it module by module instead of the entire course.
[00:19:49] I mean, that took a lot of time. It took months and months to get together. How did you sustain yourself in that time? Did you carry on working and do this part-time or did you throw yourself into it [00:20:00] full time from the start, when you decided to become an entrepreneur?
[00:20:06] I thought about doing it part-time and when I sat back, I started to plan and realized the volume of work that was involved. And I thought if I were to do it, part-time, I probably would not reach my goal or attain my goal in the timeframe that I would like to have this available to women. Because I felt that for me, there was such a strong pull, that I walked away from my profession and I threw myself into it full-time and I did nothing else, but that really. Obviously taking care of myself, etc. because there has to be a balance, which is, which is why I do what I do. But I did throw myself into it full-time and continue to do so till this day.
[00:20:54] That’s amazing. So how did you fund that journey then? Because you haven’t [00:21:00] been making income until this year.
[00:21:02]For me, I am not a big spender, so I don’t need big brand labels to feel comfortable with my life. I am quite a simple person. I do have nice things. We all love nice things. I’m not saying I don’t have nice things, but it’s not what fuels me. What fuels me is having the knowledge to make someone’s life easier, imparting that knowledge and seeing the light in people’s eyes switch on during a conversation or by me speaking or lecturing or whatever the situation may be. That is what fuels me. Having enough, because, let’s be honest here, the medium of exchange in today’s world is money.
[00:21:43] Yes. But for me, it was always about having money to help others. So being able to donate to let’s say a children’s home or being able to buy extra groceries, or to even take a friend out who I know is going through a bit of a difficult time [00:22:00] and I can say here, don’t worry about it, I’m going to get this for us this evening.
[00:22:05] So because I was not a big spender and I’m still not a big spender, I had enough savings to sustain me and to, to help me build the business. And, that is why I decided I’m going to do this full time. I have the support of my family, friends. I had enough finances provided I was frugal and I decided to go for it.
[00:22:26] Amazing. Wow. So you’re going to build yourself back because I’m sure you’ve used a lot of your savings to get this up and running, which is amazing.
And you have such a giving heart, I absolutely love that about you. When we were talking before, last week when we had our first chat, I was just amazed at how open-hearted you are and I know that you want to give a gift to someone in the Fempreneurs Unite group.
So I don’t know if you’d like to talk about that on this platform, we [00:23:00] can just mention what you’re going to be giving, and then we can hopefully pick the right person in the coming weeks.
[00:23:09] Absolutely. So what I would like to do and in conjunction with you, Lauren, is to give one lucky person, lifetime full, free access to the masterclass, the flagship masterclass course that contains practically everything that’s on the website.
[00:23:29] Wow. So that person will get again, free lifetime access to that program. They can go through it as, and when they choose. And it’s a giveaway we will probably discuss Lauren how we are going to choose that person. We can give details later as to how that person will be chosen, but for now, yep, 1 free giveaway to some lucky person out there.
[00:23:51] I can definitely vouch for that course, the course is incredible and something that you said was that you were really looking for [00:24:00] someone very special to take on that course. So, can you describe the person that you would see walking away with that course or starting to do that free course?
[00:24:14] So the person I have in mind is, first of all, is someone who is in the right mindset. So this, although the program contains elements that will motivate you… This is for someone who is at a point in their life where I am done with being sick and tired. As Anastasia said in her song, in her tune, I am sick and tired of being sick and tired, I know that I need to do something.
[00:24:42] So I’m looking for someone with the mindset where they are ready, they are prepared to push themselves forward to achieve what they know they deserve, the life that they deserve for themselves and their loved ones. They are at that point where I’m ready. Give it to me. I’m ready.
[00:24:59]So that’s the [00:25:00] mindset I’m looking for. I’m also, depending on the honesty of people in that I’m looking for someone who, financially, it would be extremely difficult to afford the program. Now the program is very, very reasonably priced.
I’ve had many people say to me, you need to increase the price and I said, I’m sorry, I’m not prepared to do that, especially in these pandemic times. I know the price will be increased, but not now, people need this, people need to have access to this. And there are many people out there who have lost their jobs, who have lost so much. And if I can give at least for the time period of this, that something that’s accessible financially then fine.
[00:25:47] But even at that price point, there are still many people out there who cannot afford it. And I understand that, that’s why there are smaller modules available for every price point. But the flagship program I would like [00:26:00] to give it to someone who is truly in the right place, ready to start her transformation, but she just can’t afford it.
[00:26:09] What does it cost again? At the moment, everything on the platform is labelled in US dollars and it is 599 at this point in time, 599 and 99 so almost $600. Someone who is purchasing would see a different price simply because it depends on which country they’re from.
[00:26:33] That 599 is not VAT inclusive, it’s not charge-inclusive, but all of the prices are displayed with VAT, it’s displayed with the local charges of where that person is.
[00:26:47] That’s very clever.
[00:26:49] So, what you see on the website is what you will pay. There are no surprises at checkout, and hence why someone in the UK may see a different price point to someone in the US if you were to remove [00:27:00] charges, it’s $599 and 99 cents.
[00:27:03] Amazing. Okay. Wow, so that is a very big gift and I would love all of the ladies when they see this video to pop a comment below, just explaining why you would be the perfect person for this course so that Elizabeth can choose the right person. And I’m sure your heart will know exactly who that person will be.
[00:27:27] So just pop a comment below explaining your situation and why you would really need the course. I hope it’s not going to be too difficult for you to choose that one person, to decide.
[00:27:38] Just to let the ladies know, it’s not just based on my opinion, there’s going to be a panel of people choosing. So it’s not just going, oh, I resonate with this person and that’s it. It’s not going to be like that. It’s going to, it’s going to be fair.
[00:27:53] That’s absolutely wonderful.
[00:27:54]And what did I want to end with? If you had to [00:28:00] think of one piece of advice that you could give someone who is becoming an entrepreneur right now, what advice would you give that person?
[00:28:13] I would say. Just start. Do not wait for the right time. There probably will never be that perfect moment. In hindsight, I probably would have started this venture earlier, but things happen for a reason and it is what it is, but I would say to new entrepreneurs, don’t wait, just start because sometimes one step leads you in a direction that you never thought of, and then the other step comes and the other step comes and then you wonder, wow. I have come so far, so fast and it all happened simply because I started. So do not wait for the right time.
[00:28:55] Obviously, have certain things in place. So I don’t advocate anyone doing [00:29:00] what I did, to walk away from their job if you don’t have a certain amount of savings if you don’t have a certain amount of security, because then that creates anxiety and fear, and it’s not good to create a business from that space. So know your situation, understand your situation, understand the limits. Don’t put too many things on your plate where you feel completely overwhelmed and then do nothing.
[00:29:24] So know yourself, know your situation, but start. It doesn’t have to be a big step, a tiny step will do. Consistent tiny steps reward you in big ways.
[00:29:37] So just start.
[00:29:38] Wow, absolutely love that. And I agree wholeheartedly. If you could just start, you just never know what you’re going to achieve.
[00:29:46] Exactly, look at where we are, look at where we are, Lauren.
[00:29:52] Yeah, we are it’s wonderful. Thank you so much for your time and for your wonderful gift for our [00:30:00] listeners, viewers, everyone in the group. And I’m looking forward to seeing what kind of interest this generates amongst everybody. And, and yeah just seeing where this takes you, I can’t wait to see where you are in another year’s time. If you look at what you did in 2020, during turbulent times, you’ve created something absolutely amazing. And I hope I can help you as you move ahead and promote it.
[00:30:27]You have already helped, you have already helped tremendously, but yes, I look forward to our continued success together. Absolutely.
[00:30:35] Aah, I love collaborating with other Fempreneurs, it’s wonderful. Thank you. My pleasure. Thanks so much. And we’ll talk soon. Thank you. Bye-bye.
Learn More About The Program
*This is an affiliate link. If you purchase this program via this link, at no cost to you, I will receive commission from The Institute for Achievement and Excellence.
As mentioned in the video, one lucky Fempreneurs Unite member will be given lifetime access to the flagship program, “Achieving Professional Excellence”, which sells for $599.99.
Step 1: Join Fempreneurs Unite on LinkedIn It’s Free (if you’re not a member already).
Step 2: Leave a Comment on this post or on the YouTube video explaining why you would luuuurve to win this prize.
Step 3: Fingers Crossed
We look forward to welcoming you to Fempreneurs Unite.
The closing date for the giveaway will be midnight (UK time) on Tuesday, 24th August and we will announce the winner on Wednesday 25th August.
Post Update 25 August 2021
We have a Winner!!
A hearty CONGRATULATIONS to Elize Swanepoel who won the giveaway. Scroll down to read Elize’s comment below and you’ll see why she was the most deserving winner of this wonderful prize.
And THANK YOU so much to Liz for initiating and sponsoring this amazing giveaway.
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